Goals from Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino secured Liverpool’s latest Champions League victory, following on from their 3-2 win over AC Milan in their first European game of the season.
This latest midweek victory will have undoubtedly provided a big boost around the club as the Reds prepare to take on the current Premier League champions at the weekend.
After starting Liverpool’s previous Premier League match against Brentford on the substitutes’ bench, coming on for Curtis Jones after the interval, the Brazilian striker showed just how much of an attacking threat he can be for the Reds, having scored their final two goals against Porto after replacing Salah in the second half.
This duly led to Firmino being labelled as “exceptional” by his manager Jurgen Klopp.
Unlike Salah, who recently scored his 100th Premier League goal in just 162 matches, Firmino has not been a consistent goalscorer for Liverpool since he arrived on Merseyside back in 2015 from German club Hoffenheim for a fee of £36.9m.
Last season, former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher shared his concern for the 29-year-old, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £180k-per-week according to Spotrac, and his inconsistency when it came to scoring goals.
Despite only managing to score nine goals in 36 Premier League appearances for Liverpool last season, Firmino still managed to pop up when it mattered and score against the likes of Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur (on two occasions), as well as hitting a brace in their 4-2 win at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Those contributions illustrate that he still posses a match-winning quality.
With Pep Guardiola’s side currently boasting the best defensive record in the Premier League so far having only conceded one goal, and Liverpool boasting the best attacking record of the season with 15 goals in six games, it’s certainly set up to be an intriguing affair at the top of the table at the weekend.
Taking this into account, along with Firmino’s two goals in midweek, we feel that he should definitely be in the starting XI to face City on Sunday rather than being another option from the bench once again to see if he can help break down the champions’ stubborn defence.
However, with Diogo Jota starting the season in fine goalscoring form with three goals in the Premier League so far, Klopp should consider trying to fit both him and Firmino into the team on Sunday, as he did during the clash at the Etihad Stadium last season, when the Reds drew 1-1.